Creating a YES! Environment
By Simone DiMarzi
What does it mean to say YES when taking care of children birth to three? The child’s first words are often “No.” One of the best ways not to chime in with the children and always have to say “No” is to create a YES environment. The environment is key to all sorts of exciting discoveries and developments for children, and is something that I thoroughly enjoy creating! I sit often and just watch the children play and explore, and as I watch I think about ways to make this environement be even better for them.
My environment is constant changing…changing in small ways as to not upsed the children. The toys needd to have a stable home as much as possible (how would you like someone to come in during the night and rearrange your kitchen?), but there are ways to bring in new things gradually, to add to the environment so that children can explore further.
I have one child who has many balance issues, so I am continuously thinking of things to bring in that might stimulate her into trying new challenges.
Or a child that is just learning to crawl and pull up on things might need some low ottomans, or a low table to pull and climb on. Some children are fascinated with holes and putting things into holes, while others love wheels and cars; there are many ways to present those in interesting and fun ways.
The out-of-doors is another place of great enjoyment and many YES experiences that make life fun for all of us. So many plants to explore, water, sand, grass, and surfaces that are different. Harvesting grapefruits and then being able to explore them for a few days. Building climbing structures that are safe and challenging at the same time.
So you ask, what gives me joy in my work, what makes me say YES to what I am doing? Observing the children daily and figuring out how to support their explorations. It fills my world with wonder and challenge and makes taking care of children from birth to three a daily exploration into the possibilities of life. YES to babies and their movement and learning! What greater joy?!
Simone DiMarzi is a LifeWays graduate and the owner of Simone’s Infant Care in Carmichael, CA.